Dr M Ed­u­ca­tion, Wan Az­izah Women’s Af­fairs and Wel­fare

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PETALING JAYA: Prime Min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad an­nounced yes­ter­day that he would also be the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter in the Cabi­net of the new govern­ment.

At a press con­fer­ence af­ter a meet­ing of the Pakatan Hara­pan Pres­i­den­tial Coun­cil here, he said PKR pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Dr Wan Az­izah Wan Is­mail, who has been named the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter, would also serve as the Min­is­ter for Women’s Af­fairs and Wel­fare.

Dr Ma­hathir had pre­vi­ously named PPBM pres­i­dent Tan Sri Muhyid­din Yassin as the Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs, DAP sec­re­tary-gen­eral Lim Guan Eng as the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance and Amanah pres­i­dent Mo­hamad Sabu as the Min­is­ter of De­fence.

Com­ment­ing on the ed­u­ca­tion port­fo­lio he would as­sume, Dr Ma­hathir said: “I took over the ed­u­ca­tion port­fo­lio be­cause there are many un­e­d­u­cated peo­ple in this coun­try and we have to give at­ten­tion to that.

“Plus, our way of teach­ing is also out­dated and we need new ways of teach­ing, with com­put­ers and other tech­nolo­gies.

“The ex­ist­ing Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and Min­istry of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion would be merged for the mo­ment into the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.”

Dr Ma­hathir said all the min­is­ters ap­pointed so far and eight oth­ers to be ap­pointed this week would be sworn in on Mon­day.

“We will try to get 13 min­is­ters to be sworn in on Mon­day ( May 21) with the con­sent of the King,” he said.

Asked about the de­lay in an­nounc­ing the rest of the min­is­ters, Dr Ma­hathir said much con­sid­er­a­tion was needed in the selec­tion of min­is­ters.

“We have four par­ties in PH ( Pakatan Hara­pan) and ev­ery party de­sires par­tic­u­lar min­istries, and there is an over­lap in some cases.

“So, we need more time to de­ter­mine the suit­able peo­ple who will helm cer­tain min­istries,” he said.

Re­ply­ing to a ques­tion, he said there had been no el­e­ment of nepo­tism in the selec­tion of mem­bers of the Cabi­net.

“But, if we think that they are suit­able, based on their work, merit, we will still con­sider them.

It’s not right to pe­nalise sim­ply be­cause he (or she) is re­lated to so- and- so,” he said. — Ber­nama

Dr Ma­hathir (seated cen­tre), Dr Wan Az­izah (seated fourth left) and oth­ers at the press con­fer­ence. — Ber­nama photo

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